Greetings faithful blog readers,
When we left off last week, Babies R' Us gift cards were spent, baby stuff was set up, sleep was starting to be more interrupted, and other than occasional cramping, there weren't signs of labor progress.
Baby Size: A 6.5 to 6.8 pound leek (it's leek week!)
According to the internet, baby is now 6.5-6.8 pounds and 19 and 1/2 inches long. Week 38 starts off glorious with a work from home day. I accomplish a lot, and Brendan and I go on a walk and cook a healthy dinner. Friday is a quick work day, and the weekend is spent catching up on grading, writing and submitting, trying a new restaurant (we figure we might as well eat out while we can and love Ohana Poke--just a delicious veggie bowl for me, but Brendan says the poke was good), grocery shopping, yard work (for Brendan), and putting the final touches on the nursery. On Sunday, we do another neighborhood walk, but it is getting up into the 90s, and I'm glad I won't be pregnant during the summer because heat + pregnancy isn't a good combo. Basically, we have a great weekend where back pain is my only complaint.
Then Sunday night, I sleep horribly (up 4 times in 6.5 hours) and just making it through teaching and office hours on Monday is tough. I come home and take a two hour nap (and still feel foggy). I know that life with a newborn will equal sleep deprivation, but at least I won't be teaching our newborn Thoreau. I'm enjoying these last class meetings a lot. The classroom is still my happy place, even at eight and a half months pregnant. Monday, we work in another neighborhood walk. That's the extent of my fitness, but I do enjoy it.
Tuesday, I have my 39 week appointment a couple of days early. My doctor is out doing emergency surgery, so we see the nurse. It's a fast appointment with not much news: baby girl's heart rate is 154 bpm, my blood pressure is good, and I'm up almost 22 pounds for the pregnancy. We don't do a cervical check. Afterward, I drop by the hospital to have them add our medical directives to our patient files. I'm not sure this was entirely necessary, but I feel better knowing it's done.
I'm definitely starting to get nervous about labor and delivery. In some ways, it's very hard to keep living normal life not knowing when life with change forever. My co-worker Sara says the baby has dropped a little, and I am getting up at night more and my heartburn has lessened a bit, so perhaps that is true (though I can't really see it for myself). I am exhausted easily. I take long couch naps. It's basically like first trimester tired all over again. I order a few more things...like a different brand of bottles and pacifiers (just in case) and a few more swaddles. I probably don't need these things, but I'm starting to freak out a little. I practice swaddling and watch YouTube videos on calming crying babies. I also order this labor ball based on my friend Kelsey's advice and these nursing tanks (If you want to order from Kindred Bravely, please use my referral link and we'll both save $10). I have to laugh thinking of showing up to the hospital with all this stuff.
Week 38 ends with a long workday where I feel like I'm really dragging. After work, I drive to the pediatrician's office for a consult. I am so pleasantly surprised by my experience! I thought I'd get maybe 15 minutes of someone's time, but instead, I get to meet with the lactation consultant one on one for about 45 minutes and with our pediatrician one on one for about 30 minutes. I love both and love that our pediatrician is also a certified lactation consultant. I feel like I'm going to have a lot of support as I figure out breastfeeding and being a mom. One thing the lactation consultant tells me is that breastfeeding sessions in the first two weeks (when baby is regaining birth weight) can last 45 minutes and take place up to 12 times a day. There's no "right amount of time." She also instructs me not to remove the baby, even if it seems like she has stopped sucking. I write down all her tips in preparation for my new temporary full time job. When I get home, the house is clean thanks to the cleaning service, and I take an epic two hour couch nap until Brendan is home from his night class. He cooks dinner and gives me an epic foot/calf massage before bed. My back pain is getting worse. I find warm baths at night help a little bit. The brace helps too, but overall, this last week or so is probably just going to be uncomfortable.
We both agree that our impatience has definitely increased exponentially this week. As I enter week 39, our baby is officially considered "full term," and there is a 46% chance of her making her debut this week. Let's hope so because mom and dad probably aren't going to be any more ready.
If we make it to the due date without a baby, I'll be checking in next Thursday with a week 39 recap. Otherwise, I'll be checking in with baby news. Thanks for all the love, support, good thoughts, and prayers you can send us!